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View Diary: Thoughts On Tornadoes and Moore Oklahoma (179 comments)

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  •  I've lived in Tornado Alley for 15 years (4+ / 0-)

    The closest I've ever come to a tornado was an EF3 that passed within a half mile of the house and caused no loss of life.  

    The thing that people outside the area miss is that tornadoes are random and pretty limited in scope.  The vast majority of people who live in Tornado Alley will never be personally impacted by a tornado.  Even this monster storm spared the vast majority of people in this town and area.  Current reports on loss of life are variable, but under 100 people.  Which is a tragic loss of life, but this town alone has more than 50,000 residents.  It's shocking how powerful the storm is, but it drops, causes a path of destruction, and lifts, and most of the area is spared.  Most homes, schools, and businesses were unaffected.  

    That's not complacency, that's just reality.  Most storms are not tornadic.  Most tornadoes are not that big and destructive.  An EF5 is exceedingly rare, and even a monster like this one still caused highly selective, random damage in a limited path before dying out.

    I have a basement, though it would be foolish to believe that you'd fare too much better in a basement in an EF5 (house falling in on me, house lifting off and me being sucked out too, etc.).  I understand that basements are not really feasible in OK.  Do we abandon entire states, or our normal ways of life, over what remains a statistically remote chance that we personally will face down a major tornado?  I just don't see it.

    Thought is only a flash in the middle of a long night, but the flash that means everything - Henri Poincaré

    by milton333 on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:50:17 AM PDT

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    •  I live in Georgia and have heard (1+ / 0-)
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      that a tornado was headed for my area more than once. A couple of years ago a tornado passed a few miles south of us. It only killed a few people, but it transformed the landscape through which it passed. The path of destruction that I saw from that tornado clearly illustrates the random nature of a tornado. Some trees were ripped out, while those on the edge of the storm looked like they were drastically pruned by some malicious giant.

      Though I don't live in tornado alley, I'm beginning to think that my husband's interest in underground homes in his youth may have been forward thinking. Temperatures underground are constant and would require less for cooling and heating thus conserving energy, cutting CO2 emissions. And underground  homes wouldn't provide debris which contributes to the destruction of tornadoes.

      I'm not suggesting that people abandon Tornado Alley because of tornadoes, though water scarcity may become more of a problem, per FishOutofWater. I do think looking beyond traditional building methods may solve more than one problem.

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Tue May 21, 2013 at 02:43:36 PM PDT

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